3 Powerful Features You Can Add To Your EHR System With PrizmDoc APIs
The use of electronic health records (EHR) systems has been steadily rising in the healthcare industry. A government study released in December 2016, in fact, showed that 87 percent of office-based physicians had implemented some form of an EHR system. This is a dramatic shift from 2004, when only 21 percent had done so, with most providers still relying largely upon paper records.
EHR systems, which focus broadly on a patient's entire medical history, are meant to be seen and managed by all care providers for a given patient. This approach is a departure from the earlier trend of using electronic medical records (EMR), which typically are more detail-oriented about the patient's history and meant to be maintained by one specific practice. The expanding use of EHR methodology, not surprisingly, has also occurred during a general industry shift in priority from services-based care to quality-based care, since the patient's entire treatment experience is now more easily compiled and analyzed.
Why security is critical for EHR systems
So if you've helped implement an EHR-based system for medical professionals, those numbers are probably very encouraging. But it's important to remember that with this freer movement of information come risk and responsibility. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and subsequent legislation, for instance, set stringent federal standards for the safeguarding of patient information.
Thus, if there's one word you need to keep in mind when planning EHR improvements it's this: security. But what should you do to guarantee a secure, authoritative patient data system, and how should you go about it?
A complex problem with a powerful solution
Accusoft's PrizmDoc document and image viewer API is a versatile toolkit for adding powerful features to EHR systems while meeting strict security requirements. It supports any programming language or platform along with displaying dozens of file types, and is continually being updated to meet the demands of a diverse customer base.
Here are three ways PrizmDoc is being used inside EHR and EMR systems to make management of patient documents easier and more efficient:
1. Securely view documents from any device
Medical professionals frequently ask for the ability to quickly access documents with the peace of mind of knowing that the patient data being displayed is fully secure. This commonly includes the secure viewing of PDFs, which often contain forms that need reviewing.
PrizmDoc meets this need by restricting access to only those users authorized to view the documents (patients and providers, typically), as well as limiting the printing and downloading of sensitive information. This is a key provision of complying with HIPAA and various other legal requirements.
Because it's web-based, PrizmDoc also makes documents freely accessible online to everyone authorized to view them through the use of a secure URL, eliminating the need for emailing document versions. It's also an HTML5 viewer, so it works on any device – desktop, tablet or smartphone.
2. Full collaboration: Annotation and redaction
Another tool that makes medical professionals' jobs easier is access to an online portal where they can securely work together on patient records. One common task in this collaborative process, for instance, is the redaction of specific PII (personally identifiable information) for a given patient, still another important provision in legal requirements.
PrizmDoc offers several collaboration features, including annotation (marking up documents and/or adding comments) in addition to redaction. These tools allow individuals to make comments or redactions on a document without updating the original.
The use of eSignatures is another key collaborative element of PrizmDoc. Physicians and patients alike can digitally sign forms, providing acknowledgments or authorizations within relevant documents. This saves time that would otherwise be wasted in sending (and waiting for) these forms for everyone involved.
3. Management of all patient forms
Medical practitioners also often cite the complexity of handling myriad patient forms as a problem in maintaining their records system. There are forms for new patient registration, assignment of insurance, relay of information permissions and financial responsibility forms, to name a few. With no centralized method of creating and managing these documents, practices can spend huge amounts of time handling them and also risk omitting key patient information.
PrizmDoc simplifies this process by allowing for the creation and editing of forms directly in the web browser. Fields can be added, deleted or changed as needed over time, seamlessly enabling the forms to keep up with changing regulations and industry trends such as new treatments and diagnostic innovations.
Best of all, the forms can also be filled out by patients online, rather than printed for the mistake-prone process of filling them out by hand. This guarantees the secure transmission of sensitive information from patient to practice, with enormous time savings for everyone involved.
A complete digital records resource
The trend toward EHR is here to stay, and PrizmDoc is an indispensable tool for keeping up with the fast-changing medical industry. It creates a central repository for all patient forms, provides secure viewing of them and facilitates group work and discussion. It also features a highly intuitive user interface that patients and providers alike appreciate, and its search functionality is a huge help when high volumes of records are involved.
Let us help
We're always here to answer your questions about PrizmDoc and other products from our complete suite of document and imaging tools. Contact us here to learn more about how Accusoft can enhance any medical document management system, including the comprehensive upgrading your EHR system.